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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Monster (movie) » User review

Charlize Theron's performance will blow your socks off

  • Nov 11, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
Monster is based on the true story of female serial killer Aileen Wuornos, a common prostitute that left a string of dead Johns in her wake. Aileen (Lee) is on the verge of taking her own life when she meets up with Selby, a lesbian who is looking for companionship. Selby gets Lee to talk, and they agree to meet again the next night. Lee needs money, so she takes to the streets to make some cash.

Her last John brutally beats and rapes her, and in an act of (what seemed to be) self-defense, Lee shoots him to save her own life. Selby and Lee hit it off and decide to set up house together, each having their own ideal of what 'a real life' should entail. While Lee believes that giving up hooking and finding a real job is the key to her new life, Selby is too dependent to go out and get herself a job, therefore remaining reliant on Lee's income as a prostitute. Life does not stay peachy for the new lovers, and after many heart-breaking rejections from the job market, Lee returns to hooking in order to feed her and Selby.

Whether Lee had simply had enough of prostitution, or whether the last brutal John soured her, or simply the idea that she had gotten away with it once, Lee adds a new twist to her hooking schema; murder.

Monster is not a fast paced story of the police investigation hurdling towards finding a killer, but the horrifically commonplace lives of two women who want more out of life but can't seem to find their way out of the trenches. It didn't strike me as 'what would you do for love' type of story either, simply a deviant's twisted mentality of right and wrong. It is a story of the human inside the animal, even a human as alien as Lee was, and the presentation those animals will make to remain human as long as they can.

Get ready to see the performance of a lifetime from previously uncelebrated actress Charlize Theron. She *should* have won the award for her amazing performance in Monster, never again will you see her as a 'blah' or 'so-so' actress. She immersed herself so deeply into the role that she became almost unrecognizable as the Charlize you have seen before. The talk, the walk, the mannerisms, are all portrayed with a natural flow, you simply will not believe how good she is in this movie.

Special mentions go out to Christina Ricci (Selby) and Bruce Dern (Thomas) for their stellar performances also. Director Patty Jenkins receives a tip from my hat also, for finding the human inside Aileen Wuornos and bringing it to the screen. In the featurette, Patty mentions that Lee's behavior wasn't about strength or weakness, but about damage, and she managed to highlight this in the film.

I'm not usually a big fan of Special Features, but you absolutely MUST watch the featurette, where it shows the work behind the scenes and how they transformed Charlize Theron into Aileen Wuornos. It's not just seeing the make up applied, but watching her mannerisms change as she imbeds herself into the role.

Monster is a superb movie, an emotional killer, which will leave you full of both pity and rage at what becomes of those who society turns their polite cheek away from. I highly recommend Monster as a 'buy' rather than 'rent' DVD. Enjoy!
Monster

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January 26, 2009
I recommend AILEEN WUORNS THE SELLING OF A SERIAL KILLER. Great documentary that actually succeeds in making you feel sorry for her as you get a good look at the Christian woman who "adopted" her while she was on trial and the "lawyer" who defended her and a couple of the cops who were only interested in selling their story to Hollywood.
 
November 11, 2008
There's also an episode on Aileen Wuornos on the TV show American Justice, that tells her story. It's amazing how much they made Charlize Theron look, and act, like the real Aileen.
 
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More Monster (movie) reviews
review by . May 26, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Theron Raised The Bar
It should come as no real shock to any true movie lover that Charlize Theron won best actress at the Academy Awards in 2004. Not to mention all the awards she won prior to that such as the Golden Globe Award. Considered by many to be one of the top ten performances of all times, Charlize Theron gives us a shocking yet humanized portrait of Aileen Wuornos which is completely unforgettable.       Aileen Wuornos will remind us all in many ways of ourselves with her hopes, …
review by . December 19, 2008
DVD
Lee (Charlize Theron) was terribly abused as a child and has been a prostitute since the age of 13. Desperate and lonely, she meets a young lesbian named Selby and the two become inseparable. They need money to start a new life together, so Lee does the only work she knows, only now she uses a gun.     This true story of a woman who killed seven men for their money and cars is extremely brutal and depressing. Theron is unrecognizable as the hardened killer and gives a heartbreaking …
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Ranked #47
I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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About this movie

Wiki

Starring Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Lee Tergesen
Directed by Patty Jenkins
Writer:  Patty Jenkins
2003

Product Description
A shockingly moving film that burrows deep beneath the tabloid-sized headline stories of aileen wuornos the man-hating serial killer executed last year in florida. Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent Release Date: 02/28/2006 Starring: Charlize Theron Bruce Dern Run time: 108 minutes Rating: R
 
Based on the life of Aileen Wuornos, a Daytona Beach prostitute who became a serial killer

Won Oscar. Another 16 wins & 13 nominations
view wiki

Details

Genre: Drama
Release Date: December 24, 2003
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 1hr 49min
Studio: Media 8 Entertainment
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